She didn't know how it happened, but Republic City, her home, was now under the reign of the wicked Amon himself. The Equalists have taken over, benders were bring arrested, stripped of their bending powers, left alone on the streets to die. This was a nightmare, one Korra kept on praying and praying she would wake up from. But she never did. This was reality.
Even the park where she use to play with the children was looking grim. A large stage stood at the center, where Amon spoke to his followers. Hiroshi Sato, sadly, stood near him and the Lieutenant. The masked man had never felt more pride in his life, he even had a replica of his mask now hiding the heroic face of Avatar Aang.
“It is a glorious day my equalist brothers and sisters." said Amon to his citizens, "We have torn down the tyrannical bending government! Starting today, I declare bending illegal and the Avatar is on the run."
The whole crowd cheered loudly, minus Hiroshi. He needed to get this news to his daughter. He looked at the corner of his eye, spotting a female Equalists in the crowd, giving him a hand gesture, which he immediately recognized. He knew who it was, and he was relieved.
"I have a vision for the future." Amon continued, "One day soon, bending will no longer exist and we will live in a world where everyone is finally equal!""Down with benders!" one of the people cried out.
"Down with them all!"
"The time has finally come for us my brothers and sisters." said Amon, raising his fist into the air, "The United Forces are on their way right now to try and stop that dream but we…will…PREVAIL!”
What can you expect from filthy little heathens?
Here's what you get when your races are diverse
Their hands splashed with red
They're only good when dead
They're vermin as I said
Amon: Barely even human!
Crowd: Savages! Savages!
Amon: Drive them from our shore!
They're not like you and me
Which means they must be evil
We must sound the drums of war!
Dirty wicked devils!
Now we sound the drums of war!
The United Forces ships were fast approaching. They were not about to let this monster take control of the city and its citizens. General Iroh stood at the helm, looking out to the horizon, ready for anything.
Iroh: This is what we feared
Amon is a demon
The only thing he fells at all is greed
Behind that milky hide
There's emptiness inside
Soldier: I wonder if he even bleeds!
Iroh: Barely even human!
Sailor: Savages! Savages!
A killer at the core!
Iroh: He's different from us
Which means he can't be trusted
We must sound the drums of war
First we deal with this one
Then we sound the drums of war!
Equalists: Savages! Savages!
Let's go kill a few, men!
Now it's up to us, men!
Sailors: Savages! Savages!
Barely even human!
Now we sound the drums
While the people cheered and applauded, lost in their enthusiastic cloud, Hiroshi made his way out of the stage and towards the audience. He inconspicuously bypassed the Equalist he spotted earlier, and handed her an envelop. The female nodded her head before silently leaving the area. Once she was farthest away, she stood near a rock in the park, surrounded by snow covered trees. She tapped it seven times and the rock moved, revealing a hole. She quickly jumped in and the rock moved back into place.
Once underground, the Equalists removed her mask, revealing to be Asami. She held the opened the envelop in her hand and smiled when she read the note, it was folded and longer than expected. She made her way to where her friends were. The four of them managed to take refuge underground where they had encountered several people who managed to escape the Equalist take over. They were benders and non-benders alike, and non of them were fighting each other. How ironic that up above the world was black, but down here it was joyful and happy.
Mako was playing with Pinkie Pie, with a little toy on a string, while Bolin was actually brushing Rarity's mane with a tiny little brush. The two brothers spotted Asami walk in and Bolin ran up to greet her.
"You're back! How was it?"
"Did you get the information from your dad?" Mako asked.
Asami waved the folded paper in her hand. "Right here." she handed it to Mako and the four of them were amazed to see it. "He's currently working on the Equalists' new invention.The biplane. My dad gave us the map to where they are being made, somewhere up on the mountains. If we can sabotage those planes before they take off then the United Forces will have a fighting chance."
"This is great news!" Mako said, finally feeling that things were turning around. "Now all we have to do is tell Korra."
"Where is she?"
"Helping Gommu with dinner." said Bolin…only to be startled when the man appeared in front of them both.
"Welcome back! Hope you brought your appetite because dinner is served!"
Gommu was a very eccentric, scruffy hobo of a man with a heart of gold and a smile wide as a mile. He stirred the gruel in the silver pan and poured it into various bowls for the four teenagers who sat around him. He especially placed one bowl for the Dragon Birds. All the other girls ate with ease, but Rarity was disgusted by the brown look of it. She refused to eat it.
“Thanks so much for letting hide out with you the past few days, Gommu” Korra said graciously as the man poured the gruel into her bowl.
“Honored to oblige. It is not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to cloth them, and not turn away from your own flesh and blood."
The teenagers, minus Korra, looked at him in amazement. This man was wiser than he looked.
Korra smiled, "I remember when you told me that the first time we met."
"And you lived it day after day. My associates and I hardly oppose Amon's so called "equalist" policies. We've got benders and non-benders living together down here, but do you see us fighting? No siree. We've figured out how to harmoniously co-exist.” he said as he wrapped his arms around himself.
“You are a wise and noble hobo” said Bolin before eating a spoonful of the gruel, and smiled in satisfaction. “Mmmm! This is the best tasting street gruel I've ever had. Seriously!”
“I called it from the finest dumpsters the city has to offer.”
Asami's face turned green as she spited out her gruel and handed the bowl to Pabu, which he ate without any issue. She finally knew what it was like to have a bad meal.
After eating, the three teenagers placed the map on a table and began working on a strategy for their attack. Mako was leading the way.
"Alright, we know where the Air Base is, now we just need to get there."
"How?" Asami asked, "We don't have any other mode of transportation and it'll take us days just to get there on foot."
"But the United Forces arrive tomorrow!" Bolin reminded them. "Maybe we should wait until then and they can help us out. Safety in numbers, right?"
"That's pretty smart, sweetie." Asami smiled proudly.
"Thanks…kinda have a headache now."
Mako had to admit they both made good points. How else were they to get to the mountains in time? Never on foot that was for sure. Asami's vehicles were no doubt confiscated by the Equalists, and she couldn't bring any of them down with her to this place.
"Korra, what do you think?" Mako looked up to where Korra was originally standing, but she was now gone. "Korra? Where did she go?"
"Was it something we said?" Bolin asked.
She knew she should be there with her friends to come up with a plan to stop Amon. But she couldn't stop thinking about her family long enough to focus. She pulled her top hair tie down, letting her long soft hair fall gracefully down her shoulders. The white was still growing, consuming most of the brown. Gommu didn't mind it at all, but he didn't mind much anyway. She didn't know what this meant. Was it a sign? Was Yue or Aang trying to tell her something? She knew what she needed to do now, but while who she was was no longer the issue, at least not now, there was still the issue of fear.
She was scared to fail. Scared for her family. Scared for her city. Scared for herself. Would she need to eliminate Amon? Even Aang never wanted to kill anybody. While Korra may make some threats every now and again, she would never go that far. Ever. No matter how convincing it was, they were always bluff threats.
She rested on the floor, sketching the images of her family. She had been doing this for a while now. The likeness was uncanny. She hadn't drawn much in a while and doing this now made her feel relaxed. But it still wasn't enough.
Where has the starlight gone?
Dark is the day
How can I find my way home?
Home is an empty dream
Lost to the night
Now, I feel so alone
Tears escaped her eyes as memories of of her childhood with her father played in her mind. How happy she use to be, how much she loved her family.
You promised you'd be there, whenever I needed you
Whenever I call your name, you're not anywhere
I'm trying to hold on
Just waiting to hear your voice
One word, just one word will do, to end this nightmare
When will the dawning break?
Oh, endless night
Sleepless, I dream of the day…
When you were by my side
Guiding my path
Hope, I can't find the way
You promised to be there
Whenever I needed you
Whenever I call your name you're not anywhere
I'm trying to hold on
Just waiting to hear your voice
One word, just a word will do
To end this nightmare
She was interrupted from her thoughts when she saw Mako walking towards her and sat beside her. He noticed her drawings, "Wow, I didn't know you could draw like that."
"Yeah, it's something I've always done." she flipped through the pages, showing him more drawings she did. Images of the tree she apparently made up and the strange spirits she would often imagine.
"Yeah…but not enough." she looked up at the firebender and shared with him something she never shared with him before. "I'm scared."
Instinctively, she placed her head on his shoulder and his wrapped his arm around her. "Me too. But everything will be fine."
"When did you get so positive?"
"I guess I had a good teacher."
Korra's eyes widened when he said this. She looked into his eyes, only to realize exactly who he was talking about.
Mako: I know that the night must end
And that the sun will rise
I know that the clouds must clear
And that the sun will shine
I know that the night must end
And that the sun will rise
Korra: And that the sun will rise
Together: I know that the clouds must clear
And that the sun will shine
And that the sun will shine
Korra: I know!
Yes, I know
The sun will rise!
As they sang, Mako took her hand and they stood up, gazing into each other's eyes.
Together: I know that the clouds must clear
And that the sun will shine
I know that the night must end
I know that the sun will rise
And I hear your voice deep inside!
I know that the night must end
And that the clouds must clear
Oh, and the sun will rise
The sun, the sun will
All fears left their hearts, being replaced with nothing but hope. For a moment, they had completely forgotten where they were, all they could think about was the other's beautiful eyes that seemed to glow despite the dim lights of the tunnel. Korra didn't know how it happened, but it was like her heart was pulling her towards him. Little did she know, he was feeling the same pull. Their faces drew closer, their heads slightly tilting and their eyes slowly closed. Next thing they knew, their lips finally made contact.
Their first kiss.
For Mako, it was like a million fireworks just went off inside of him. For Korra, it felt like a tidal wave of emotion and happiness. He wrapped his arms round her waist and she wrapped her arms around his neck, deepening the kiss. It was a moment they wished could last forever. But it couldn't. Korra suddenly remembered what she had sworn upon, and this was good, even though it felt like it was. She quickly broke away from him, slightly shoving him in the process.
"What?" Mako was confused, he didn't know why she suddenly ended their kiss. He thought she was enjoying it as much as he was.
"I…I can't do this!" she tried to walk away but Mako grabbed her wrist.
"Korra, no, no, wait!"
"Mako, let me go!"
"Not until you tell me what's wrong! Why are so afraid of me?"
Her eyes shimmered as if tears would come out. "Because…"
"Because I can't!"
"Forget I said anything." Korra tried to leave again but Mako stopped her once more.
"No! No more running Korra!"
"Let me go!"
"Not until you tell me the truth." he held her wrists tightly, refusing to let her leave him without a response. "Why can't you tell me?"
Korra gave up her efforts to break free and slowly calmed down. He did deserve an explanation. "I don't want to hurt you."
"How could you possibly hurt me?"
"I'm the Avatar."
"So, I'm not exactly popular for having successful relationships."
He knew what she was referring to. Many times when he heard about the Avatar getting married, it wasn't always easy. They would have problems with the wife or husband or not have been with their kids enough. She must have been afraid of doing a similar thing to him. He should have known. He felt so stupid.
"It's not your fault."
Mako wrapped his arms around her, which she allowed, and gazed into her eyes. "Listen, no matter if you're the Avatar or not, no matter how crazy things get, I will follow you into battle. I've got your back. And I always will."
"Why? Why would you risk your life for me?"
Mako smirked, "You have a problem with someone doing something nice for you?"
Korra couldn't help but chuckle. He was using her won words against him. Through it all, he had been by her side. Helping her and supporting her, even when they argued and got on each other's nerves. But, they were still friends. And now, it was clear his feelings for her were real. He showed it in his actions, not just his words.
She allowed herself to rest her head on his chest, listening to the soft sound of his beating heart. "Thank you."
An Equalist airship flew overhead on Air Temple island, Amon was waiting on a platform as the Lieutenant dragged a blindfolded man up to him. The man was forced on his knows as Amon removed the blindfold.
"You will now be cleansed of your impurity." he stood behind the frightened man, and placed his thumb on his forehead…taking away his bending. The man collapsed and fell from exhaustion. Amon turned to the Lieutenant,
The Lieutenant nodded and walked over to get the next victim. There was a long line of blindfolded benders with their hands bounded, fearfully awaiting their fate. The very sight brought much pleasure to Amon…but then, in his mind, he saw Korra. His happiness shifted into anger, he swore on his mother's grave, he would find her…and she will be his.
Yue bay was covered in thick morning fog as the team made their way out of the drainage pipe. Mako stepped out first and beckoned to the others, "Coast is clear."
The rest ran out and climbed an access stairway to an observation deck above. They crunched by the railing as Bolin scanned the bay with a telescope.
“Once the United Forces arrive, we need to be ready to help in any way we can.” said Korra.
Mako quickly spotted something in the distance, “They're hear!”
They all looked over at the ocean, Asami taped Bolin's shoulder and pointed at the telescope which he had backwards and he flipped it around. He saw a dim shape through the mist. The United Forces battleship was steaming into the harbor, but the young General Iroh felt very uneasy.
"Hmm…Amon had to know we were coming." he said, "So why aren't we meeting any resistance?"
"Wait a second…" Korra stood up and looked up at the sky, "Where are the Equalists airships?"
Mako took the telescope from his brother and ran to the end of the deck, scanning the city. “I don't see any mecah tanks, either.”
Mako and Korra shared the same worried looks. This was not a good sign at all. From a distance, they heard the sound of explosions. The ships were being attacked by underwater bombs!
"It's a trick!" Iroh exclaimed in horror as his ship was being blasted by mines floating up in the surface of the water. Seeing this, Korra leaped from the edge of the deck and dove into the water, using her waterbending to pull herself into the bay and swam towards the battleships.
"Water and earthbenders, detonate those mines!" Iroh commanded over the loudspeaker. He suddenly heard something from the outside. "What is that sound?" He ran out of the control room and onto the deck, where a buzzing sound was heard in the sky.
Korra surfaced and she too witnessed something coming. Mako looked through the telescope toward the city. "What now?"
His eyes widened when he spotted a heard of flying objects in the mist, which resolved themselves into two fleets of biplanes, heading towards the ships.
“That's my dad's invention!" Asami exclaimed, "Amon must have gotten him to finish them!"
Bolin face palmed himself, "Yeah, we're doomed."
The planes flew across the bay, The Lieutenant leading them, he pulled a lever and bombs dropped from the underside of his plane. The ships bellow were bombard, causing major damage. One plane dropped down two torpedoes towards the ocean. Korra dodged out of the way only for the torpedoes to hit the side of another ship. The explosion forced her to dive down and swim to the ship again as more planes dropped torpedoes to hit the targets.
A male sailor shouted, "Incoming!" and the explosions forced the rest of the sailors up in the air. A plane dove in to attack but firebenders firebended into the cannons and shot at the planes. Korra emerged from the water and looked at the planes, while they destroyed the remaining ships. An earthbender tried to bring the planes down but he was forced back by the bombing.
Korra dove into the water and waterbended a massive waterspout that rose her high up and bended a large ice spike to take down another plane. However, the damage plane hit the waterspout and Korra fell into the water where she bended a torpedo around into the air and hit another plane. She emerged once more and swam to the closest ship. Iroh came up from the hatch to firebend the remaining planes, one which was dropping a bomb in front of him. He used his firebending to shield himself, but the explosion caused him to fall into the water. He sank down unconscious. Korra spotted him and quickly grabbed him, bringing him to the surface.
“It's alright, I've got you”
Iroh coughed up from water from his mouth as he took a good look at his savior, “Korra? You saved my life. Thank you”
Using her waterbending, she brought them both to safety.
Back at the hideout, Korra was almost done healing Iroh's arm, which had been wounded from the attack.
“I was prepared to deal with Sato's mecah tanks, but not these new high-speed aircrafts.” said the young general.
“I know." Korra said while she continued to heal his wound. "Every time we think we have an advantage, Amon outsmarts us.”
“No matter what our plan is, he always has a better one.” Bolin said.
“Amon is winning for far," said Iroh, "but we're not of the fight yet.”
“I like this man's confidence!" Bolin said happily, "So, how are we not out of the fight?”
Iroh stood up while clenching his arm, “A second wave of reinforcements is on the way, but I need to warn them." he turned to the Avatar, "Do you still have a way to get a message out?”
“I know just the man for the job”
“And who is the recipient of this top secret message?” Gommu asked the young general as he set up a telegraph machine.
“Commander Kuvira, second division of the United Forces.”
“Kuvira?” Korra asked
"You know her?" Mako asked.
"Sort of. She used to study with me and Asami. A quiet gal but definitely the bravest earthbender you'll ever meet.”
“Ready sir”, Gommu began tapping out the telegram as Iroh spoke.
“Fleet ambushed and destroyed by Equalist aircraft, retreat to red sand island until my signal. Do not approach city until you have received all clear.” Later they all gathered around a map on top of a table, “Now comes the hard part.” Iroh tells them.
“Oh, and all this time I thought we were gonna to be doing things the easy way.” Korra said sarcastically.
“We need to ground those aircraft, otherwise Kuvira's fleet will never be able to retake the city.”
Mako pointed at one place on the map, “Hiroshi already gave us a map to where the the airfield is. Right over this mountain range.”
“Everyone get ready, we leave at dawn” said Iroh.
However, while they were all preparing for a good night's rest to fight Amon the next day, one person was having second thoughts. She looked around at all of her friends, realizing just how much they had sacrificed because of this war. She felt she was placing them in unnecessary danger. None of them deserved what happened, everything was all Amon's doing. His hatred and pride had poisoned minds and affected lives in such a horrible way. She had come so close to loosing so many people she loved, she couldn't allow Amon to get away with this anymore. She had made up her mind.
That night, Bolin was sleeping soundly in his sleeping bag, Asami was close by him in her own bag as well. Her long raven locks tangled over the pillow. Mako gently shook his brother.
"Hey, Bolin. Wake up."
The younger brother opened his eyes to see only the outline of his brother. For a moment, he thought he was a stranger. Bolin jolted up, screaming his head off, which caused Asami to wake up as well. Pabu also shook awake, terrified from the sound.
"It's okay! Whoa, whoa, it's okay! It's me!"
Bolin slowly calmed down, "Mako! Don't do that!" he said while grinding his teeth.
"Have you guys seen Korra?"
"I thought she was asleep." said Asami, "How I envy her right now."
"She was, but now I can't find her."
Gommu's laughter was heard and he appeared. "You kids won't find her here. I saw her sneak out with her little bird friends not too long ago. Looks like the Avatar, finally has returned."
"What?" then, Mako began connecting the dots, "No, she wouldn't…oh no, she did!"
"Did what?" Asami asked as she stood up, "What's going on here?"
"She's going to face him!"
"Who?" Bolin asked.
"What about Amon?" Asami asked, then she gasped, "You don't think!"
"I think so!"
"What's going on here?!" Bolin exclaimed, wanting answers now.
"Korra is going to face Amon by herself!" Mako concluded.
Bolin opened his mouth, "Oooooohhh…."
Asami face palmed herself. "That idiot!"
Korra was already near the entrance to the opening of the pipeline. She already had Asami's Equalist uniform put on as well as the mask. She looked out into the city. The sight still broke her heart. She heard the sound of crackling ice and looked at her hair, which was almost completely silver, sparkling in what little sunlight was left. The dragon birds were her only companions at the moment.
"Korra, wait up!" She turned around to see Mako running up to her. "What are you doing?"
"I'm not waiting for Amon to come and hunt me down. All this time I've done nothing but hide. It's time I faced him."
“That's not a good plan. We have to stick together.”
“I've seen Amon ruin too many lives already. My gut's telling me it's time to end this. On my terms. Besides, this city is my home. If I don't fight for it, who will?"
"I will." he said confidently.
"It's going to be dangerous."
Mako smirked, "Danger? I laugh at the face of danger." he said jokingly.
"I see nothing funny about this." said another masculine voice
"Bolin? Asami, what are you doing here?"
"I wanted to say this to your face." said the heiress, "You're an idiot!"
Korra only laughed it off, she knew her friend meant well. "Asami, you and I have been through a whole lot together and I can't thank you enough for all you have done. But this is my fight now. I don't want to danger anybody else. While you all go with Iroh to take down the planes, I'm going after Amon."
"Korra, I believe in you, I really do. But this isn't something you can do alone."
"She won't be." said Mako as he remained by the Avatar's side. "I'm going with her."
Korra looked up at him with worry, "You don't have to do that."
"Yes. I do."
Judging by the look in their eyes, Bolin and Asami could only come to the conclusion that these two were definitely starting to become a 'thing'.
"I still think you're both nuts." said Bolin. "But Korra, if it's important to you, we're with you to the end."
Asami rolled her eyes, "Fine. Let's all go crazy."
Korra smiled graciously. She was so lucky to have the best friends anyone could ever ask for. Now she knew how it was like for Aang to be with his friends.
"Thank you. All of you."
Asami clapped her hands together, "Okay, if you guys are going incognito, Mako's going to need a new outfit." she placed her fingers into her mouth and whistled, "Rarity, Fluttershy, Twilight, come with me."
After a few more moments, Asami and the three birds had made Mako his own Equalist disguise. Bolin whistled, impressed. "You work fast with a needle and thread." he said, "Lookin' good, bro."
The outfit was good enough to fool Amon. He and Korra were all set now. The two brothers hugged goodbye.
“Love you, little bro”
“Love you, back big bro”
Gommu sniffled and cried at the sweet scene. Bolin walked over to the Avatar, “Korra, Amon is a nasty dude. Be careful”
“I will.” The two embraced in a warm hug, “Take good care of Asami for me."
Finally, Mako turned to the heiress. "Asami. I know we haven't been friends for very long, but whatever happens today, I want you to know how much I care about you.”
Asami smiled, "I care about you too." she stood on her toes to kiss him on the cheek. "Bring her back safely."
Finally, Korra and Asami were the last one to say goodbye. They embraced in a warn, loving hug, wishing the other the best of luck.
"Good luck, Korra."
"You too. Tell Hiroshi I said 'Hi'."
Asami nodded before walking away with Iroh and Bolin. The dragon birds surrounded Korra, all chirping and nuzzling her face. "I'll be back, guys. I promise."
The sad creatures watched as both Korra and Mako exited one tunnel while the others exited the other.
“Good fortune and success to you, valiant heroes.” Gommu said as he watched them leave.
The dragon birds waved goodbye to their beloved human friend. Rarity the chirped to Twilight in their own language.
"We are going to follow them, aren't we?"
Korra used her waterbending to create an air bubble as she and Mako walked across the bey and to the shores of Air temple Island. The teens placed on their masks and quietly made their way onto the island. Up above, they spotted an airship, as well as the masked man climbing onboard it.
“There's Amon!” Korra said.
“We need to get into the temple," said Mako "then when he returns…”
“We ambush him” Korra finished. Silently, they made their way towards the temple, until---
“What are you two doings here?”
The two came to a halt when they spotted the Lieutenant standing in front of them. Mako tried to come up with a good excuse, since the Lieutenant thought they were fellow Equalists. “Uh, we were just transferred” the firebender responded, actually sounding convincing.
Lieutenant narrowed his eyes at them, “Well you're getting transferred again. Amon wants extra security at the arena today.”
“The arena? For what?” Mako asked.
“The rally. You should have been briefed about this.”
“We'll be there, sir.” Korra replied with a bow. With that, The Lieutenant walked away, “I know another way in.” Korra whispered. They scooted to the slide slowly and stealthily as they made their way to a secret entrance behind the temple. Korra lifted a wooden panel on a wall and they climbed in.
Once inside, they climbed up through the attic's trapdoor, but once they were there, Mako quickly realized something, “Uh, we're not alone up here.”
In the corner of the room they see a small room with steal bars….with three people inside.
Korra could not believe it. Not only was the president in the cage, but also his wife and someone she did not expect to find.
"Korra! Thank goodness! You came to save me!" Wu held the bars, smiling broadly at his rescuer. "Not a moment too soon, this place is terrible! Did you know they have no room service?" The teens removed their masks, revealing Korra's now almost completely white hair. Wu's eyes widened. "Wow! When did you dye your hair?"
Korra ignored him and turned to the president. "Raiko, what happened?"
"They ambushed us. Amon wanted to keep away any potential leaders. He got your father as well."
Korra gasped, "No. But he got away. We saw them get away!"
"They took him on that airship, heading to the pro-bending arena."
"What does he want him for?"
"I'm afraid you won't be around to find out, Avatar."
The two teens turned around to see the Lieutenant appear before them. He took out a bola from his pocket and tossed it to the floor. Covering his mouth, the ball released a green smoke, which consumed Korra and Mako The Avatar started to feel woozy and fell to the floor.
All she saw left was nothing but darkness.